Article for Verse Wisconsin


Dawn, this is what I wrote and copied/pasted from a Word Document. I called and talked to Tim this afternoon (Aug. 2) to get some background and some quotes. Please feel free to add, change, etc.
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Cooler by the Lake: the Poets of Mead
A New Tack on Poetry

The song, “Hot, Hot, Hot,” had resonated for ten days of 90 degree heat in Sheboygan, Wisconsin. Out on nearby Lake Michigan, sailboats were in irons or crawling downwind with the mainsail right-angled to the boat, hoping for a puff of wind.

On the evening of July 12, 2013, an occasional breeze wafted from Erie Avenue through eight-foot wide wooden doors of a nineteenth century built lumber yard office, now a white painted brick edifice: the EBCO Artworks Building.

Inside the public was invited free of charge to come in out of the heat. Inside was "Cooler by the Lake," an exhibit of poetry. Voices of twelve local poets reading their words harmonized with and were punctuated by the voices of neighborhood children on the street. Eighty people sat, stood, listened to the poems of their community members.

It was a novel idea, a new tack on poetry: mount poems on art gallery walls. Display them as a visual and verbal feast. Use six to eight foot banners for some poems to create a focus for each poet. Use big type size for easy reading from afar. Hang a photo and a bio of each author. De-emphasize the heat of summer. Use blues and greens, cool colors to frame their thoughts. Hang icy blue cloth from the ceiling to murmur the breeze of fans. Call it "Cooler by the Lake: the Poets of Mead."

The initial idea for the exhibit originated with Mary Eckardt, an associate of Tim Ebenreiter, owner of EBCO Artworks. She knew his mission: to support and promote art from creative people in the community and offer it to the populace. Tim agreed. Here was a creative group that would benefit from exhibit space. Here was a creative group that the populace needed to see and hear.

This “dream space for artists” idea pulled Tim out of his garden eight years ago. A sculptor called him. He needed space to create, was ecstatic when Tim pulled off his garden gloves, drove to the building and opened the doors. Since then, Tim has opened the doors to 67 visual artists and ten friends of the arts. “It has grown like Topsy!” he said. “Ideas and creativity flow—no, not flow, erupt!”

Mary Eckardt first brought the idea to the Mead poetry group. She had sat in on one of the poetry circle sessions. “She said that we could display our poems at EBCO Artworks in a gallery setting just as visual artists display their paintings. We were intrigued," said Georgia Ressmeyer, exhibit planner and featured poet. "Marilyn Windau and I, as co-chairs, chose the poems, with help from Maryann Hurtt. We , as well as Mary Eckardt and Lisa Vihos, helped with publicity. Marilyn and I hung the show and saw to the refreshments for the reception."

Mead Library in Sheboygan started their poetry circle in September of 2008 at the suggestion of Jeannie Gartman, Mead librarian and programming coordinator. Since then, the Circle has met eight times annually, facilitated by Lakeland College's Fessler Professor of Writing Karl Elder. He and the participants read aloud from their own work or work by an admired poet. Comments and constructive critiques help make for better writers. Resource books and writing techniques further enhance skills. Support received from others, friendships made, and confidence gained through sharing innermost thoughts are important benefits of the Poetry Circle.

All twelve poets featured in the exhibit are current or former participants in the Mead Library poetry group. Represented were the poems of Gerald Bertsch, Nancy Harrison Durdin, Karl Elder, Kathryn Gahl, Dawn Hogue, Maryann Hurtt, Mary Kunert, Leighanne Metter-Jepsen, Georgia Ressmeyer, Clarke Ross, Lisa Vihos, and Marilyn Zelke-Windau. Several of these poets have been contributors to Verse Wisconsin.

The show opened on Friday, July 12th with a reception of beverages and dessert items. Visitors moved freely from one poet’s work to the next, reading the poems and bios, and viewing the photo portraits taken by Eckardt. Pedestals provided space for those poets who brought their published chapbooks for sale. Tables and chairs were placed in the gallery for comfort and for the poetry reading which occurred that evening.

Ressmeyer and Windau served as the evening's hostesses, and introduced each poet who read two or three poems, at least one being from the exhibit.

The following afternoon the gallery was open to the public for poetry viewing and refreshments as well.

"I like how the event brought local poets into a public space. With our words on the walls, almost like visual art, we took poetry out of its normal realm and presented it in a way that really resonated with people," Dawn Hogue, one of the Mead poets, said.

“I didn’t think I’d ever see my poems displayed in public,” said one poet, “It was very gratifying.”

Ebenreiter added,” I was not just pleasantly surprised at the attendance for this event. I was bowled over! Everyone I talked to seemed pleased. They enjoyed it.”

Poetry displayed on gallery walls, a new tack, seems a fresh idea and on the right course.
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That's it, Dawn. The following is stuff I wrote another night.....


A New Tack on Poetry

The song which resonated for ten days of 90 degree heat in Sheboygan, Wisconsin had been "Hot, Hot, Hot." Yet, on the evening of July 12, an occasional breeze wafted in from Erie Avenue through eight-foot wide wooden doors of an 1854 built, white painted, cream city brick factory: the EBCO Artworks Building. Inside, it was "Cooler by the Lake." The voices of twelve local poets reading their words harmonized with and were punctuated by the voices of neighborhood children on the street. Eighty people sat, stood, listened to the poems of their community members.

It was a novel idea: mount poetry on art gallery walls. Display poems as a visual and verbal feast. Use six to eight foot banners for some poems to create a focus for each poet. Use big type size for easy reading from afar. Hang a photo and a bio of each author. De-emphasize the heat of summer. Call it "Cooler by the Lake: the Poets of Mead." Use blues and greens, cool colors to frame their thoughts. Hang icy blue cloth from the ceiling to murmur the breeze of fans.

The initial idea for the exhibit originated with Mary Eckardt, an associate of Tim Ebenreiter, owner of EBCO Artworks. She knew of his mission:......to get art out from creative people in the community and offer it to the populace.....

Mead Library in Sheboygan started their poetry circle in September of 2008 at the suggestion of Jeannie Gartman, Mead librarian and programming coordinator. Since then, the Circle has met eight times annually, facilitated by Lakeland College's Fessler Professor of Writing Karl Elder. Elder, one of the featured poets, said," Quote from Karl about the exhibit.

"When Mary Eckardt first brought the idea to the Mead poetry group, that we could display our poems in a gallery as visual artists display their paintings, we were intrigued," said Georgia Ressmeyer, exhibit planner and featured poet. "Marilyn Windau and I, with help from Maryann Hurtt chose the poems, helped with publicity, and hung the show, ......"

All twelve poets are current or former participants in the Mead Library poetry group. Represented in the exhibit were the poems of Gerald Bertsch, Nancy Harrison Durdin, Karl Elder, Kathryn Gahl, Dawn Hogue, Maryann Hurtt, Mary Kunert, Leighanne Metter-Jepsen, Georgia Ressmeyer,Clarke Ross, Lisa Vihos, and Marilyn Zelke-Windau.

___-this is where I stopped for tonight, Dawn!

Though the evening was not exactly cool, temperature wise, the exhibit definitely was. Each poet presented a banner poem on large white paper, 4 x 8 feet long. Nearby were three other poems as well as a photo portrait taken by Eckardt. The space allowed for visitors to move freely from one poet's work to the next.

Ressmeyer and Windau also served as the evening's hosts, and introduced each poet who read two or three poems, at least one being from the current exhibit.

"I like how the event brought local poets into a public space. With our words on the walls, almost like visual art, we took poetry out of its normal realm and presented it in a way that really resonated with people," Dawn Hogue, one of the Mead poets, said.

"another quote from another poet."

Some of the poets offered poetry books for sale as well. Blah, blah.

I want more imagery here, and more quotes. We are going to need to interview "all???" of the poets. What did they think? What did they love, not love about about the experience.






Resources:


From Marilyn's note for Wendy and Sarah:
This month twelve of the Mead Public Library's Poetry Circle members exhibited 47 poems at EBCO Artworks, a gallery in Sheboygan. The exhibit, "Cooler by the Lake: the Poets of Mead," featured a "banner" poem in large type, which was 6-8 feet long for each poet, as well as three other smaller, but medium-large type, printed poems, bordered in blue or green.The exhibit was planned by Georgia Ressmeyer and myself, at the invitation of the gallery's owner. Photos of each poet were taken by Mary Eckardt and shown with the poets' work.


We had a reception and a poetry reading as well as gallery viewing during the weekend of July 12 and 13. The poetry reading was attended by about 80 people!

Marilyn's Welcome Note:

Welcome
Cooler by the Lake: the Poets of Mead
Thank you for coming out of the heat and into the quiet coolness of poetry.
We, the poets represented in this exhibit, are members of the Poetry Circle of Mead Library, which was established in September of 2008 at the suggestion of Jeannie Gartman, Mead librarian and programming coordinator. Since then, the Circle has met eight times annually.
Karl Elder, Fessler Professor of Creative Writing and Poet in Residence at Lakeland College, hosts the group. He and the participants read aloud from their own work or work by an admired poet.
Comments and constructive critiques help make us better writers. Resource books and writing techniques further enhance our skills.
Most important are the support we receive from each other, the friendships we make, and the confidence we gain through sharing our innermost thoughts.
We hope you will enjoy our words!

Mary Eckardt, Georgia Ressmeyer, Marilyn Windau,
event planning committee,
with special thanks to Maryann Hurtt and Lisa Vihos